The Model 3 is supposed to be the Tesla that will change the world: The first long-range electric car that is also sexy and—relatively—affordable.
It won Green Car Reports Best Car To Buy 2019 award last week for its smooth performance, long range, and futuristic control screen. And our readers agreed.
It's supposed to be the car that attracts mainstream car buyers to electric cars.
So, given the number of Tesla fans we have among our readers and Twitter followers, last week, we asked the $60,000 question (or, hopefully soon, the $35,000 question): "Why haven't you bought a Tesla Model 3?"
We get it. There are a hundred legitimate reasons, starting with, "I can't justify spending that much money on any new car right now." (For the record, I haven't either, for the same reason.)
We expect that's the motivation of the majority of our respondents, 58 percent of whom chose "Too expensive" as their reason. The response could also include those who honestly think the car doesn't deliver the value it should for the money, and those who are still waiting for that fantastical $35,000 Model 3 and are disappointed with the $47,200 it takes to drive a Model 3 home today, before tax credits. With Tesla's tax credits winding down, the Model 3 will also never be the $27,500 car after tax credits that some hoped, since the company's full tax credits will begin to wind down in January.
Why haven't you bought a Tesla Model 3?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) November 12, 2018
Still, if this is the car that's supposed to change the world, set the standard for your friends and neighbors, show the world what's possible, and inspire others to join in promoting electric cars, perhaps it's worth some extra consideration. And once the company begins producing the $35,000 model, perhaps sometime next year, it won't be any more expensive than the average new car, which has hovered between $35,000 and $36,000 through most of 2018.
We could think of a couple of other reasons some people might not buy a Model 3. After all, there are other long-range electric cars on the market now too, and quite a few more coming.
Other reasons some buyers might not consider a Model 3 include 8 percent of our respondents who said they might like to lease a Model 3, if the company offered a factory lease. It may not be as easy to buy any Tesla as it is to buy from other car brands who have in-house financing operations eager to extend credit to sell cars.
A few readers, 7 percent, said they don't trust Tesla, perhaps after the company's volatile summer, where it was unclear if its finances could survive the Model 3 launch, or CEO's erratic statements that sent the stock price tumbling. Some of these readers may find Tesla's repair and support experience unfriendly to consumers, because the company retains control of the car's software and operation long after the car is sold.
An impressively strong 27 percent of our readers chose the other obvious reason for not buying a Model 3: They already have. (Maybe they'd like another?)
Don't think we haven't noticed this poll received an unusual amount of pushback. It also received an extremely high response rate.
Remember that our polls are unscientific, because our readership does not represent a nationally representative sample (as reflected in these results), and our sample size is too low.